Council split on new rehab facility, will come down to mayor's vote in two weeks
A split city council has presented Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz with his first deciding vote since taking office in January.
While voting on a new addiction rehab center that would come to District 4, six council members voted for it, and six against.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz will cast the tie breaking vote at the April 10th council meeting.
"The request by the mayor for an additional two weeks to mull this over is a wise move on his part, I think. I'm sure that he wants to take in all sides of the matter. This is clearly a very contentious issue among Toledoans, and rightfully so. There's a lot to consider here, and it's a large decision for us to make," said Council Member Nick Komives.
The biggest opponent to the new center is Council Member Yvonne Harper. She represents District 4, where the Unison Health-owned facility would reside.
She's worried that it would only add to a problem, and thinks there are already too many addiction centers in the area.
There are currently 24 facilities in District 4, out of a total of 40 throughout the entire the city.
"We just can't keep saturating in District 4. You can look at Councilman Delaney's district. He's got one. What's the problem? Why can't they?"
Following the tie vote, the council voted on a special use permit to allow the rehab center to operate. Gary Johnson, who voted yes for the facility, voted no. He immediately shouted an expletive and would later apologize.
Following a re-vote later in council, it was a six to six tie, as well.
The mayor will also vote on the SUP in two weeks.
"I want people to call the mayor's office and tell them to stand with Yvonne Harper, Council District 4," said Harper.
The new facility at 2310 Jefferson Avenue would bring in 16 beds for patients. Unison already owns the building.
Unison Health gave a statement to NBC 24. They said they are "obviously disappointed in the split vote of city council." They also said they are "looking forward to providing the mayor with the facts regarding the need for the service in our community, so we can get to work helping those that are dealing with substance abuse."